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The dish on Long Island's restaurant and food scene

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Joan Reminick

In an ongoing search to find Long Island’s best restaurant values, restaurant critic Joan Reminick has plowed through more pad thai, penne ala vodka and pulled pork than she cares to admit. Born and raised in Brooklyn, Joan grew up in a happy home whose only shortcomings were culinary. After a childhood of cooked-to-leather steaks, canned peas and Ore Ida fries, she made it a personal mission to seek out food that’s fresh, lively and carefully prepared. Married to her teen sweetheart, she received a B.A. from Brooklyn College and an M.S. from Hofstra University and taught English and Humanities in a Long Island high school for several years. When her two children were born, she embarked on a writing career and has had both fiction and nonfiction works published in national magazines. She also edited the Zagat Survey of Long Island Restaurants and wrote the book “Exploring Long Island with Newsday.” In addition to doing weekly “Cheap Eats” restaurant reviews, Joan hunts down restaurant news items and writes restaurant-related articles. These days, her motto is: making Long Island a better place to eat, one blog entry at a time.

Open in Franklin Square: Starving Artist Café and Gallery

Starving Artist Cafe and Gallery is new to

(Credit: Starving Artist Cafe and Gallery)

New to Franklin Square is the Starving Artist Café and Gallery, which makes its home in a Cape Cod house that last hosted a bar. The multipurpose spot is furnished with an artsy mix of upholstered and wood furnishings.

Jeff Ceraso, who co-owns the table-service cafe with his wife, Carol Ceraso, and sister-in-law Diane DiNicola, said the cafe's gallery showcases the work of local artists, with...

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Open in East Meadow: Hunan Dynasty Chinese & Japanese Restaurant

The new Hunan Dynasty Chinese & Japanese Restaurant

(Credit: Hunan Dynasty Chinese and Japan)

Hunan Dynasty Chinese & Japanese Restaurant just made its debut in the East Meadow strip mall space that last housed a lacrosse store. The new place is under the same family ownership as Hunan Dynasty in Levittown and features the same menu.

A glance at the extensive menu reveals such Chinese dishes as chopped seafood hot and sour soup ($6.50), Singapore mei fun ($9.50), General Tso’s...

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Fargiano's in East Islip: First bites

Chef Richard Desmond's pumpkin tiramisu at Fargiano's Pizza

(Credit: Newsday / Joan Reminick)

The night I visited Fargiano’s Pizza & Pasta in East Islip, singing chef Richard Desmond was nowhere to be seen. But, late in the meal, his operatic voice rang out in song from the kitchen. And his hand was evident in several dishes.

One was a gratis bowl of Desmond’s trademark hummus with basil oil. A fine dip, served with pieces of basil-garlic bread —  excessive, yes, but good....

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Oktoberfest at BrickHouse in Patchogue

Ale-braised sausages highlight the Oktoberfest menu at BrickHouse

(Credit: Newsday / Peter M. Gianotti)

Oktoberfest beers are being poured across Long Island.

BrickHouse Brewery & Restaurant in Patchogue has a malty, food-friendly one. Try yours with a selection from the restaurant's Oktoberfest menu, which will be available through Oct. 5.

The choices include good, ale-braised bratwurst and knockwurst, set on a 'kraut made with Brussels sprouts. A thatch of fried onions tops the dish....

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Farmingdale Meat Market burgers at Coliseum

Pat Mazzaro, left, and Lee Seelig stand in

(Credit: Newsday / Erica Marcus)

When the puck drops on Oct. 4, local burgers will be served at the Nassau Coliseum for Islander games.

Main Street Wholesale Meats, a division of the popular Farmingdale Meat Market, will be supplying the Coliseum with its hamburgers. The market has created an exclusive blend, made with brisket, short rib and chuck, for sale at all home games of the Islanders. They also will be sold during...

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Smithtown Restaurant Week on the horizon

Chop Shop, Smithtown

(Credit: Danielle Finkelstein)

Smithtown Restaurant Week is coming up, from Oct. 5 to 12. This means that now might be a good time to make reservations at a slew of dining spots where a three-course dinner will run you $27.95 per person.

Among participants are Aji 53, Chop Shop and Thai House in Smithtown, along with Five.Five2  and Spezia in St. James. In Hauppauge, there’s Butterfields and Jade Garden, and, in Commack,...

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New at BBD's in Rocky Point

New large-screen TVs at BBD's - Beers Burgers

(Credit: Beers Burgers Desserts)

Ralph Perrazzo, chef-owner of BBD’s — Beers Burgers Desserts in Rocky Point, has expanded the focus of his burger-centric gastropub. (Perrazzo was recently featured as one of Newsday's All-Star Chefs of 2014).

Now the place has 13 large-screen TVs on both sides of the restaurant, with Direct TV coverage of sports nationwide. To go with the game, Perrazzo is offering a special football bar...

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Closed in Westbury: Dilettos

Dilettos in Westbury on July 13, 2013.

(Credit: Barbara Alper)

Dilettos, a sprawling Westbury Italian restaurant near the corner of Jericho Turnpike and Glen Cove Road, has closed. For years, the place was part of a Boston chain known as Papa Razzi, but last year, it severed its connection and changed its name.

In 2013, Dilettos received a one-and-a-half star review, with most praise going to  the bread, pizza and entrees coming out of the oak-burning...

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20th anniversary prix-fixe at Hemingway's in Wantagh

Hemingway's American Bar and Grill at 1885 Wantagh

(Credit: Newsday / Daniel Goodrich)

Hemingway’s American Bar & Grill in Wantagh, which opened back in 1994, is celebrating its 20th anniversary with a two-course $19.94 prix-fixe dinner. The deal runs from Sept. 29 until Oct. 4.

Chef Nick Hannides’ menu starts with a choice of soup or salad. Then, choose from five main course selections: Blackened mahi mahi, roasted chicken, Yankee pot roast, stuffed boneless pork chop,...

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Long Island restaurants: new reviews

The Davey Gravey burger, served at Old Fields'

(Credit: Yvonne Albinowski)

In this week’s Newsday, Peter M. Gianotti reviews Old Fields, the new Greenlawn branch of the Port Jefferson gastropub. “In a downtown rife with restaurants,” he writes, “the new Old Fields immediately stands out. This is a dining room for everyone, whether you're coming for a burger or filet mignon, a pumpkin spice martini or a chocolate malted.”

Joan Reminick visits Ra-Kang, an attractive...

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